May 23, 2023

Runner Runs Third to Home in Fair Territory

Ryan Mountcastle's smart base running going home in fair territory

Runner Runs Third to Home in Fair Territory

The Orioles and Blue Jays played at the Rogers Centre on May 20, 2023. In the top of the 10th inning, the score was tied 5-5 when the O’s Ryan Mountcastle began the inning on second base as the ghost runner. Adam Frazier bunted him to third. Austin Hays then hit a ground ball toward third base. The ball was fielded by Matt Chapman who fired home to catcher Danny Jansen. But the ball hit Mountcastle who was running in fair territory and he crossed the plate to make the score 6-5 which proved to be the final score.

Ruleball Comments

  1. This was good Ruleball and a wise running strategy.
  2. Mountcastle was running legally on the fair side of the third base line when he was hit by the throw. He did not have a restricted baseline because he was not avoiding a tag, nor was he in a rundown.
  3. The strategy certainly affected the outcome of the play and the game.
  4. I doubt if teams practice against this kind of running strategy which increases the probability of success.
  5. Most runners will remain in foul territory the entire distance from third to home. By doing so, when the throw is coming from near third base, the runner is giving the third baseman a clear throwing lane.  

Rich Marazzi

Rules consultant/analyst:  Angels, D’backs, Dodgers, Nationals, Orioles, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, Red Sox, Rangers, Royals, Tigers, Twins, White Sox, Yankees, Bally Sports, YES, and NBC Sports Chicago.  

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